Cancer Research Technology and BioInvent enter Oncology collaboration

2012-06-12 06:06:18

Cancer Research Technology Ltd (CRT), the commercial arm of Cancer Research UK, and BioInvent International AB (OMXS: BINV) announced today that they have entered a collaboration with Queen Mary, University of London, to identify new therapeutic antibodies in oncology.

BioInvent and scientists funded by Cancer Research UK at Queen Mary, under the leadership of Dr Thorsten Hagemann, Senior Cancer Research UK Fellow, will jointly be looking for new therapeutic targets by applying BioInvent’s F.I.R.S.T.™ technology, a functional approach to therapeutic antibody discovery. Dr Hagemann and his team will in return provide the collaboration with biological pathways for the development of new oncology therapies.

The F.I.R.S.T.™ platform, through its ground-breaking proprietary biopanning technology, enables identification of functionally superior antibodies across multiple targets overexpressed by target cells. This combined target and drug discovery platform utilizes primary cancer patient cells, rather than recombinant proteins, as an antigen source allowing for discovery of novel specificities (receptors and epitopes) and target receptor functions.

The agreement gives BioInvent the option to enter into licenses to bring forward drug candidates beyond lead candidate identification in exchange for milestones and royalties to CRT.
Cancer Research UK’s scientist Dr Thorsten Hagemann said: “By combining the preclinical expertise in animal models within my laboratory and our access to patient samples with BioInvent’s F.I.R.S.T.™ technology we hope to speed up the discovery and development of new possible treatments. We will focus primarily on targets which affect the pro-tumour role of myeloid cells in solid malignancies, an area in which my lab has developed significant experience. We would anticipate such therapies to be applicable across a range of tumour types.”
Björn Frendéus, Vice President Preclinical Development at BioInvent, comments: “It is of major importance for BioInvent to tap into the vast knowledge base of a multi-pronged organisation such as Cancer Research Technology. One of our first areas of interest will be in the biology of myeloid cells in cancer, which has been an area of focus for us for many years.”

Dr Phil L’Huillier, CRT’s director of business development, said: “CRT has a strong interest in exploring the exciting area of the tumour microenvironment to create innovative new cancer therapies. Tumour associated macrophages are increasingly recognised as important players in cancer, and bringing together BioInvent’s unique antibody discovery platform with Dr Hagemann’s expertise in the macrophage field provides this collaboration with a unique blend of skills to develop multiple therapeutic projects with the potential to benefit cancer patients”.

Notes to editors

About F.I.R.S.T.™ and n-CoDeR®
The F.I.R.S.T.™ screening system is based on BioInvent’s n-CoDeR® library and is a proprietary antibody technology for “fishing” library antibodies targeting surface receptors, “antigens”, which show promising characteristics in primary cancer patient cells. This functional approach to target identification allows for the selection of functionally superior high-affinity antibodies at an early stage in the drug discovery process. F.I.R.S.T.™ is an acronym for Functional Interrogation of Recombinant antibody librarieS for Therapeutic candidates. The n-CoDeR® library contains more than 20 billion (2 x 10¹º) highly diverse, fully human antibody fragments.

About BioInvent
BioInvent International AB, listed on the NASDAQ OMX Stockholm (BINV), is a research-based
pharmaceutical company focusing on developing antibody drugs. The Company currently has four clinical development projects within the areas of thrombosis, cancer and atherosclerosis. The Company has signed various strategic alliances to strengthen the product pipeline and increase the likelihood of success. These partners include Genentech, Human Genome Sciences, Roche and ThromboGenics. The company’s competitive position is underpinned by its proprietary antibody development platform. The scope and strength of this platform is also utilised by partners, such as Bayer HealthCare, Daiichi Sankyo, Mitsubishi Tanabe, UCB and XOMA. More information is available at

About Queen Mary, University of London
Queen Mary, University of London is one of the UK's leading research-focused higher education institutions with some 16,900 undergraduate and postgraduate students. Amongst the largest of the colleges of the University of London, Queen Mary has accepted an invitation to join the Russell Group, which represents the 24 leading universities in the UK and will officially join the Group in August 2012.Queen Mary’s 3,800 staff deliver world class degree programmes and research across 21 academic departments and institutes, within three sectors: Science and Engineering; Humanities, Social Sciences and Laws; and the School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Queen Mary is ranked 11th in the UK according to the Guardian analysis of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, and has been described as ‘the biggest star among the research-intensive institutions’ by the Times Higher Education. The College has a strong international reputation, with around 20 per cent of students coming from over 100 countries. Queen Mary has an annual turnover of £300 million, research income worth £70 million, and generates employment and output worth £600 million to the UK economy each year. The College is unique amongst London's universities in being able to offer a completely integrated residential campus, with a 2,000-bed award-winning Student Village on its Mile End campus.